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Product 271399

Neumann TLM 103 Studio Condensor Microphone

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A standard name in high-end recording studios around the world, Neumann mics deliver the professional touch that's needed to capture high-quality aud...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The ideal large-diaphragm microphone for professional and semi-professional applications.

A standard name in high-end recording studios around the world, Neumann mics deliver the professional touch that's needed to capture high-quality audio. The TLM 103 is fast becoming a standard for home recording and the music industry. The large-diaphragm Neumann TLM-103 Microphone provides platinum-quality sound on a bronze budget, using transformerless circuitry for ultralow self-noise and handling high sound pressure levels up to 138dB. The TLM-103's cardioid polar pattern optimizes attenuation of unwanted sound and suppresses feedback and comes with a rugged wire mesh grille that helps protect the capsule. This is the mic for everyone who, despite budget limitations, does not want to do without the uncompromising Neumann sound.

Applications
Due to the universal cardioid pattern, straightforward handling, extremely low self-noise level, and finally, the price, the TLM 103 is predestined for all demanding applications from home recording to professional broadcasting and commercial recording studios.

Polar pattern
The TLM 103 is equipped with a large diaphragm capsule with cardioid pattern. By focusing on this pattern - used in most recording situations - the attenuation of unwanted rear sound has been optimized. Off-axis sounds are rendered naturally while isolation is increased. This also leads to a high feedback suppression when the microphone is used in live situations or where loudspeaker playback is a factor.

Acoustic features
The TLM 103 is addressed from the front, marked with the red Neumann logo on the microphone body. The K 103 large diaphragm capsule is based on the K 87, well known from the U 67 / U 87 microphones.The capsule has a flat frequency response up to about 5 kHz, and above that, a wide flat 4 dB presence boost. The large wire mesh headgrille protects the capsule from plosive sounds and effectively prevents pop noises. These characteristics are achieved without resorting to corrective resonance effects. Therefore, the microphone maintains an excellent impulse response and reproduces the finest details of music and speech without coloration.

Electrical features
With just 7 dB-A / 17.5 dB CCIR the self-noise level of the TLM 103 is so reduced that even the smallest signals are reproduced basically noise-free. As it is capable of handling sound pressure levels up to 138 dB without distortion, the TLM 103 provides a dynamic range of 131 dB (A-weighted). The letters TLM stand for "transformerless microphone". With TLM technology the usual output transformer is replaced by an electronic circuit. As with traditional transformers, it ensures good common mode rejection, and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal.

Shockmount sold separately

FEATURES
  • Large-diaphragm cardioid microphone
  • Pressure gradient transducer with with one-diaphragm capsule
  • Transformerless circuitry, with extremely low noise: 7 dB-A
  • Straightforward handling for home recording and professional studios
  • High-quality professional equipment for limited budgets

Uncompromising Neumann sound for a more affordable budget.

SPECIFICATIONS
Audio
  • Analog or digital: Analog
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 138 dB
  • Connectivity: XLR
Pattern and Type
  • Capsule: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Type: Mounted
  • Switches: No
  • Phantom power required: Yes
Size and Weight
  • Diameter: 2.36 in.
  • Length: 5.19 in.
  • Weight: 15.9 oz.
Included Accessories
  • Case: Yes
  • Clip: No
  • Shockmount: Yes
  • Power supply: N/A
  • Cable: No
  • Stand: No
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
NeumannTLM 103 Condensor Microphone
 
4.6

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Pros

  • Easy to use (3)
  • Good audio (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (3)
  • Professional recording (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Fix it in the mix

Some have the perception that this isn't a "real Neumann" or that a $79 Nady sounds "just as good."It is difficult to hear how a mic is...Read complete review

Some have the perception that this isn't a "real Neumann" or that a $79 Nady sounds "just as good."It is difficult to hear how a mic is going to sit in the mix when you're only listening to the mic itself with no music. It's deceiving to compare several mics side-by-side without being in the studio. People often say "I tried out all the mics in the store and the (whatever brand) didn't sound any better than the cheaper mics I compared it to."What we're all after is how is it going to sound in the mix. This is where the Neumann shines. First of all, Neumann is far less prone to sibilance than cheaper mics. Compared to less expensive mics, you can push the EQ, compression and FX a lot further with the TLM103 without it sounding artificial - like the cheaper mics will.Yes, I have Studio Projects, AKG414, BlueBird and a half a dozen others. The Neumann delivers. When it comes time to mix - the TLM103 sounds "balanced across the board" where cheaper mics start to sound tinny or mushy when you push them during mix-down.I know some will say "hey man, if you have to EQ more than 3dB then you're doing it wrong". The reality of it is that with modern music, including Rap, Metal and so on - to get "that sound" you gotta crank the EQ.Yes, Neumann is expensive, but it is not overpriced. When it comes time to mix, compress then master (more compression) Neumann delivers "that sound" without compromise. There is a reason that every major studio uses Neumann.You'll hear it in the mix.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

honest review from a professional musician

I really wanted to be honest here and help others in choosing the correct mic, I have worked professionally in the music industry and have been a gear addict for a while, I started...Read complete review

I really wanted to be honest here and help others in choosing the correct mic, I have worked professionally in the music industry and have been a gear addict for a while, I started off as gear deaf, then now my ear opened so much in which the sonic character of every mic is unique and easily identified, a good thing and bad. Anyway, as a neumann user for 10 year plus, I have been loving the tone of u87, u47 as much as any pro, however, the tlm103 is no where near the neumann high standard, think about it this way, you think such a big company will be so dumb to put another cheaper product (tlm103) to knock of sales from another(u87)? reality is no, there is no such thing as free lunch, you see, and I am been really really honest here, the mic firstly, doesnt sounds like a u87, in speech it sounds close, but not smooth hf, abit bright, and in vocal, no way, its completly different to a u87, and thats not the case here, the thing that concern me is it sounded brittly bright,and thin, to me, and other pro, is better to get a rode nt1a if you liked the tlm103. For the price, you can get an akg 414xlii, much better mic, and really sound nice on everything, an industry standard. well, i hope the point is clear, tlm103 is no high end sounding mic, is ok, but the quality is not much better than a rode nt1a. For those who never been working with high end mic,or industry std one, like u87, akg414, you may think this mic is gold, but in reality is abit of junk only for the beginners, of cos a small percentage of vox will still sounded ok, but the rest I doubt it will. You will still get an ok vox recording, but nothing special, I laugh when folks who bought this mic think they ve gota bargain,or a u87 in so call cardio, and thats why is cheap. BS, and I have used this mic before I cristise it. If you want a neumann badge which will give you more confidence, buy it, but if you are after the best sonic character mic, save more and go for a u87, or even a akg414 which is the same price but much more feature. Wellwellwell, at the end, some of you will still go and buy it, but keep my comments in mind, one day when your ear develop you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(10 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

honest review from a professional musician

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

I really wanted to be honest here and help others in choosing the correct mic, I have worked professionally in the music industry and have been a gear addict for a while, I started off as gear deaf, then now my ear opened so much in which the sonic character of every mic is unique and easily identified, a good thing and bad. Anyway, as a neumann user for 10 year plus, I have been loving the tone of u87, u47 as much as any pro, however, the tlm103 is no where near the neumann high standard, think about it this way, you think such a big company will be so dumb to put another cheaper product (tlm103) to knock of sales from another(u87)? reality is no, there is no such thing as free lunch, you see, and I am been really really honest here, the mic firstly, doesnt sounds like a u87, in speech it sounds close, but not smooth hf, abit bright, and in vocal, no way, its completly different to a u87, and thats not the case here, the thing that concern me is it sounded brittly bright,and thin, to me, and other pro, is better to get a rode nt1a if you liked the tlm103. For the price, you can get an akg 414xlii, much better mic, and really sound nice on everything, an industry standard. well, i hope the point is clear, tlm103 is no high end sounding mic, is ok, but the quality is not much better than a rode nt1a. For those who never been working with high end mic,or industry std one, like u87, akg414, you may think this mic is gold, but in reality is abit of junk only for the beginners, of cos a small percentage of vox will still sounded ok, but the rest I doubt it will. You will still get an ok vox recording, but nothing special, I laugh when folks who bought this mic think they ve gota bargain,or a u87 in so call cardio, and thats why is cheap. BS, and I have used this mic before I cristise it. If you want a neumann badge which will give you more confidence, buy it, but if you are after the best sonic character mic, save more and go for a u87, or even a akg414 which is the same price but much more feature. Wellwellwell, at the end, some of you will still go and buy it, but keep my comments in mind, one day when your ear develop you will know exactly what I am talking about.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fix it in the mix

By Synth Quest

from Sunny Portland, Oregon

See all my reviews

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

Some have the perception that this isn't a "real Neumann" or that a $79 Nady sounds "just as good."It is difficult to hear how a mic is going to sit in the mix when you're only listening to the mic itself with no music. It's deceiving to compare several mics side-by-side without being in the studio. People often say "I tried out all the mics in the store and the (whatever brand) didn't sound any better than the cheaper mics I compared it to."What we're all after is how is it going to sound in the mix. This is where the Neumann shines. First of all, Neumann is far less prone to sibilance than cheaper mics. Compared to less expensive mics, you can push the EQ, compression and FX a lot further with the TLM103 without it sounding artificial - like the cheaper mics will.Yes, I have Studio Projects, AKG414, BlueBird and a half a dozen others. The Neumann delivers. When it comes time to mix - the TLM103 sounds "balanced across the board" where cheaper mics start to sound tinny or mushy when you push them during mix-down.I know some will say "hey man, if you have to EQ more than 3dB then you're doing it wrong". The reality of it is that with modern music, including Rap, Metal and so on - to get "that sound" you gotta crank the EQ.Yes, Neumann is expensive, but it is not overpriced. When it comes time to mix, compress then master (more compression) Neumann delivers "that sound" without compromise. There is a reason that every major studio uses Neumann.You'll hear it in the mix.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best by Far I've Tried

By Experience 2000'

from Scotland

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

I,m a Scottish vocalist musician and have been playing since the 1960's and we, my brother and I record ourselves now and again in our little house studio, we got this mic thinking it should be pretty good as its a Neumann but we did'nt expect just how fantastic it is, this is the best mic I've ever sung thru' its clean and clear and is'nt harsh on the treble side, it has a warm sound and you need very little EQ on it, and we use analogue mixers to record, dont like the digital crap its too hard a sound and you'll notice they try to make it sound analogue in the big recording studio's, so why not put it thu' an good quality analogue mixer in the first place,i.e. we use a soundcraft mixer, buy this mic and you wont be disappointed, and i'm not a Neumann salesman, Ian from Scotland.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I Love this mic!

By Mark Gregory

from Sierra Madre, CA

See all my reviews

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

Overall, you can't beat it. For the price, every studio should have at least 2.
This mic is fantastic, especially for the price. Our studio has 30+ mics from all the top brands and the 103s get used the most often. I would say it ends up in about 95% of the sessions we do here. I bought a pair almost 10 years ago and never had a problem. I've used them on vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, as room mics, violin, percussion, just about everything, and they always sound great. There is no better mic for under $1k, not even close. I'm about to buy another pair because we love them so much and use them on everything.
Top notch, as you would expect from Neumann. Never had a problem
This is the best mic available in it's price range and excells on a variety of sources. Plus, the resale value is great if you ever have to part with it.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

ideal home studio mic

By Frankie Seuss

from annapolis, MD

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

we recorded an album for my band with this mic. it sounds professional. it was a lot of fun doing vocals through this mic. we used it for lead and back up. it was also played infront of the kick drum alongside of the audix D6 to add a bit of flavor to the mix. it definitely played a big role in the album. if you wana hear it, go to youtube and search vista saints confession or vista saints its time. all the vox were recorded with this mic.
it records sounds, it does as advertised just like every mic.
it's built like a tank. i wouldn't want to drop it but if it happens it seems like it can take a little beating. when you pick it up it feels great.
I haven't used toooo many mics but i've heard cheaper ones that sound just as good. not that this one is bad at all, it sounds amazing. but it's pretty pricey.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Totally Satisfied

By Jackson

from NC

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Limited Functions

Best Uses

  • Home Studio
  • Professional Recording

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

I've been through a lot of budget mics, Chinese condensers, TLM-102 and have to say the TLM 103 has the magic. I'm using it on male vocals, acoustic guitar and a guitar cab. More than I wanted to spend but well worth the investment. It has this character that just sounds right. No more of having to coax desirable results by eq'ing budget MXLs, ATs, Sterling, etc. This mic isn't perfect but I love it.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

best mic of 2003

By TRIBE VIBE STUDIOS

from boston

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

This microphone sounds just like the u87, it's just cheaper in price.

(2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Over-hyped, but better than a lot of stuff.

By crwrd

from Salem

See all my reviews

Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

It's not a bad mic, but it is definitely over-hyped. It doesn't really sound like Neumann. It's high end is really harsh. But it's good on acoustic instruments.
Simple, straight forward condenser mic.
Build: Solidy built. It's a heavy little guy.

Sound Quality: Harsh. Excessive sibilance. Cold highs. The mids are good and so are lows. This mic is good for acoustic instruments and really not good on vocals. Just way too thin and brittle. The boost in the high frequency range is intended to give that "brightness effect" to attract first time Neumann buyers.
You can get much better mics for this amount of money. If you can pick one of these up used for not much money it would be worth it. But before you drop this amount of money on a studio mic, you should look at Oktavamod. They do wonderful work for much less money than this.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A very good recording mic, but NOT fantastic or outstanding

By Fox

from Carmichael, Ca.

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Compact
  • Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

    This mic is pretty standard in most local project studios of reputation, and for good reason, it'll do most jobs you give it decently. It also has extremely low self-noise. However, it is quite frankly, a boring sounding mic in many respects. When compared to higher priced condenser mics available like the U47, C12, U87, ELA M 251, TLM67, Gold Reference, etc. or even some similarly priced mics like the C414 or even the cheaper CV-12, it will generally loose out because, while it is a pleasant mic, it provides none of the excitement or warmth, nor the silky or brilliant or highly accurate highs that the other mics do in varying degrees. In other words, this mic has no energy to it's sound, it's just a nice little pleasant sounding mic, and it doesn't have a great top end, just an acceptable top end, with, I'm sorry to say, a slight brittleness to it at times. But unlike some other reviewers, I can definitely hear that this mic is a Neumann and does have quality to it... it's just not a naturally exciting quality(however I don't go for phoney "hype" either). Keep in mind, I'm judging this mic by a very high standard and it doesn't suck by any means, it's just that there are a number of mics that are better for most applications.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    great quality product from Neumann

    By jjdiggs

    from Maple Grove, MN

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Easy To Use
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      Great on all types of vocals, fantastic on acoustic guitars. Works well on most other instruments if you take your time to get it right. It's a workhorse in pro studios everywhere, and for a reason.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Recorded with it...

      By Chase's Sire

      from Georgia

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      I'm a trumpet player of 22 years and a sax player of 6 years, and I used this mic to record some background and solo horn parts in a professional studio. I was amazed at the full range of harmonics and clarity I got on trumpet, with the trumpet being such a dynamic instrument. I could hear little subtle things from my horn that I have never heard through any other mic, and that was just a flat signal with no equalization, effects or anything. I'm building my home studio, and I will have one of these.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      How much is this sound worth?

      By Borderline Productions

      from Marquette, MI

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      I bought a pair of these right before the Euro took off. Good timing! Before this I had never dropped more than $200 for a microphone. The first time I tried them I was blown away. How much are microphones that sound this amazing worth? A lot more than what I paid for them. Run them through a tube pre-amp and they get even better. These microphones actually make you sound better than you really are.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      EXPECTING THE BEST?

      By Vik Rude

      from Salem, Or USA

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      For this kind of dough you should!I have owned mine for about a year and a half and still pat myself on the back.I bought it and an AKG414 on the same day, however they are very different animals!I have found the AKG to be a very exacting mic, almost an instrument unto itself. It has very clear and deliberate tones (and there are times when that is just what you want!).The TLM 103 deserves studio-grade cables and the best pre-amp you can afford. To get the most out of it you will need a 20db pad, a low-cut filter, separate input and output controls. The sonic rewards are MANY! I use a DBX 386, a PRESONUS MP-20, and sometimes my old Presonus blue-tube pre amps. It is no light-weight either so you would be well-advised to INVEST in a heavy-duty mic stand. The first time you try to use it on a boom stand you will understand. The same can be said for the AKG 414, as well.It will tell you in no uncertian terms just how your ROOM sounds, so be ready to make some changes!The next thing you know, you are indeed making vocalists sound like a million bucks.People see it and their attitude changes in a split-second. Park a vocalist in front of one of these and they know that you are laying out the red carpet and it's now up to them to deliver a 'chart-topping' performance!It also works so well as a drum overhead that you won't believe it. As an acoustic mic it will blow you away. As a matter of fact, it will probably rock your socks off no matter how you use it.Got the next Jimi Hendrix recording at your studio? Put a Sennheiser 421 up close to the amp and park the TLM 103 6 - 10 feet away. Moving the 103 around the room can result in some tones that guitar players die for. If you are trying to bring your studio "up", the NEUMAN TLM 103 is a must!

       
      5.0

      Great mic!!!!

      By Greg-FOhQv

      from Nashville, Tn

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      I have used this mic in my own studio for about 3 years. I work in every major studio in Nashville and get to use all the mics that come with it. I can say the tlm103 can hold it's own anywhere.

       
      5.0

      wow

      By trackmaster 1

      from PHILADELPHIA, PA

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      this microphone is unbelievable... that said, o.k. it doesn't have a low pass filter or a pad, but let's face it if you own this mic you own a decent pre with those features already. This mic is, as has been said before, like rolling out the red carpet for whatever you are about to track. when you hear the playback and listen to it in the mix it is amazing how little eq and tweaking this quality piece of gear needs. I own a recording studio and have for three years. we've gone a considerably less expensive route on mics for the most part but trust me... YOU WILL HEAR AND FEEL THE DIFFERENCE... I don't even want to use it for anyone but myself (bad business lol) but what a microphone. If you want real presence, low noise and serious clarity this is a mut own for the serious recording engineer! (who doesn't already have a locker full of U87's!)

       
      3.0

      Neumann TLM 103

      By Buzzin

      from New York, NY

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      This mic would be great if it had some type of roll off for the bass. I found myself having to continually re-eq after recording and still not hearing my acoustic guitar the way I wanted. I think for the money it's an o.k. Microphone but not great. I sold mine and bought an akg c112.

       
      5.0

      Wow, this mic has got some great quality...

      By Syntax Mastery

      from Georgia

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      I use this mic in alot of vocal applications. Mostly hip hop music and things of that nature. And it brings out alot of cleaness and brightness in the users voice. A great buy. A staple mic in my studio.

       
      5.0

      quality at its finest

      By Patt M-_QXHE

      from La & Tx

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      This mic is awesome! I have used it for years and it blows competition away. This mic really puts vocals in the "pocket" no eq & low cut necessary. Just hook up to a half decent (not super cheap) pre-amp or direct to a mixer xlr in xlr out keeps the quality sweet.

       
      5.0

      Studio Workhorse

      By Richard-ui2hU

      from OKC

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      I work in an SSL room and we have a pretty nice mic selection. Have been using the TLM103s on a variety of sources from vox, to acoustic gtrs, ambient room mics, OHs, gtr cabs, you name it. It excels at many task so I consider it a work horse. The freq bump at 5kHz is almost identical to the U87, yet it is slightly extended providing an airiness. It can really flatter some vocal sources making the singer sound much better and bigger than they are. It also is a forward sounding mic, so the vox tends to sit right up front in a mix.

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Dont think, just BUY BUY BUY!!!!

      By XTREEMMAK

      from Miami, FL

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone:

      Run this mic through a Great River preamp, and you have GOLD! I freaking LOVE this mic!!! Makes vocals sound crisp and warm with not much attenuation necessary.

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